3 Great Ways to Mentor Your Teens

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Mentoring.   It is a buzz word in my world. I write about it. Run a ministry built off of it. Live it out each week. And most of all, have experienced the blessing of actively mentoring for more than fifteen years.

Teens.

Now they mark my life, too.  I’ve lived with teens longer than I’ve had my own, as my husband is a teacher at a boarding school. It was either dive in head first to this crazy life. Or. Well, there hasn’t been an or.  The fact of the matter is that I’ve always been drawn to teens. They are wild creatures with a pretty vicious sounding bark that could scare any a woman away, but the truth is they rarely bite and I adore them!

Through my crazy life living with and mentoring teens while also raising my own children, I’ve learned that our own teens really appreciate when a mentoring approach is implemented in our parenting. 

I’ve also received much confirmation about this principle from moms who’ve read Impact My Life and begun approaching their relationship with their teens, especially daughters, with a mentoring mindset. Have you ever thought of bringing the benefits of mentoring to bear on the relationship with your teen?

You can start today by applying these 3 mentoring tips:

1.  Thoughtfully Ask Questions

A mentor doesn’t always have to use words to illustrate a point, but can teach through asking questions and setting forth an example to follow. By remaining quiet but engaged with your body language, your teen will feel safe and will be more likely to connect with you. Thoughtful, open-ended questions will draw them out and enable them to reach a healthy conclusion.  {This basic life coaching technique will work with all your kids, by the way.}

2. Transition to Home Base

A teen’s life feels like a brand new road trip -- the destination is uncertain and turns unexpected -- which means their reactions to the ups and downs are going to be different than yours. In some ways, they want to take this journey alone, but they still want a safe person to check in with. You can be that mentor mom, if you let them learn by experience (sometimes) without putting your story upon them. As you do, you’ll be able to transition your relationship from a protective-like fence to a secure home base where they will always want to return.

3.  Train Up Independence

Would you like your teen to grow up and be a positive contributor to society? Would it be nice for them to know how to care for themselves, their spaces, and others, as they live out biblical principles?  These necessary life skills require training. Take a mentoring approach in your parenting by building into your life opportunities in which they can be engaged with family and participate in day-to-day responsibilities.  If they pout and argue, remember they are simply flexing their independent muscles. Be patient, but consistent, as look for ways for them to exert that independence through giving them responsibilities and blessing their contribution.

A mentoring-mindset opens the door to cultivating a mature, healthy relationship with your teen.  While the part you play as parent may be growing smaller, your godly influence and wisdom does not need to be minimized.  As a mentor mom, you have the opportunity to set the tone now for a relationship style that can last for decades to come.

What are you thoughts about mentoring your teen?

Would you like mentoring training? 

Join in the FREE M2B Mentoring Study and Training offered at More to Be!

Elisa Pulliam

Elisa Pulliam is passionate about women experiencing a life transformed by God for the sake of impacting the next generation – a mission fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She’s the author of "Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change," which is a book designed to help women embrace a fresh encounter with God, and "Impact Together: Biblical Mentoring Simplified." She is also founder of moretobe.com and tremendously enjoys working as a life coach and coach trainer. She considers her greatest roles as wife to Stephen and mom to four amazing children. Connect with Elisa at elisapulliam.com.

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